‘Being Female in a Male World Pushed Me to Find My Voice’

Tara Plummer, PPG senior IT manager for EMEA and member of The Women’s Leadership Council (WLC), is contributing to the evolutional change in the workplace. She takes seriously her role in helping PPG to become more diverse and inclusive and acting as a role model for the career advancement of women and to enhance every employee’s experience.

From her start in PPG at 18 years old, working as a secretary, to now working as a senior IT manager; Tara’s advice is:

Don’t wait for opportunities to come to you. Believe in yourself and aim high.

Working, Caring for a Baby & Studying

Tara joined PPG at 18 with a lot of energy and an eager mind. Working with a six-month temporary contract as a secretary, she never thought she’d be sharing her PPG career story 27 years later. After two years of achievements, she was offered a permanent contract as a Financial Assistant.

Whilst caring for her new born son, she decided to go to university to study Business and Finance, even with her manager telling her she was crazy for doing so. Working full time, caring for a baby and studying part time made Tara determined to learn and progress no matter what!

‘Don’t be Afraid to Speak with your Manager!’

Before Tara returned from her second maternity leave, she spoke to her manager and requested to change role, taking a side step to reduce the amount of time spent traveling.

Don’t be afraid to speak to your manager and HR, if you want a longer break and also the security that your existing job or opportunities will be available for you when you return.

Now Tara manages her work-life balance by only working occasionally at the weekends, so she can spend quality time with her family.

New Projects, New Fulfillment

Her determination and intuition to volunteer for every possible project led her to the first IT role. The project gave her a sense of excitement and satisfaction that she hadn’t got from previous finance activities. 

Tara moved through PPG at the same speed our company developed and grew. Approaching the European Oracle financials IT manager herself, she was offered the chance to join the team.

Introducing her to different countries, cultures, and the wonderful people across PPG in Europe and North America. She even ended up relocating and living in Paris for four years with her family.

I would say to anybody if you have the opportunity to relocate to another country – do it!

Working in a Traditionally Male World Teaches You to Speak Louder

I am PPG proud because whilst working for PPG, I also get to work with the EMEA WLC team. Looking at initiatives to help build awareness and increase the opportunities for women’s careers, and the number of women in leadership roles.

Tara has always worked in what could be considered a traditionally male environment, which helped her to find her voice; to speak louder. Because of this, she now works to create an environment that empowers others to succeed. Tara’s ability to empower young people and women in the workplace has meant the efforts of the WLC are close to her heart and her work.